I recently discovered several old negatives of photographs my granddad took during the Korean War. I developed them in my home studio then spent several hours restoring each image. If my estimation is correct, these were taken some time in late winter 1953:
For the stories behind the images, check out my project Johnny’s Korean War Letters at SCREAMS FROM THE TREES.
Here’s a few more restored images from 1952. I restored them from the original negatives which, after 70 years, were in bad shape. The story behind these images is detailed in a project I’ve called Johnny’s Korean War Letters, but the short version goes like this. My great-grandparents sent these images to my granddad while he was in the Korean War. The young woman in the bathing suit is his newly-married bride, my grandmom. Click any image for full res gallery.
My friend and business partner, Ethan Brown, consulted with Wild Fox Provisions a few years ago when owner Ben Davies was getting started in the hemp game. Since then they’ve worked together on several projects and have become trusted friends in the industry.
Ben and his young family have deep roots in Pennsylvania soil. They manage their sustainable USDA Certified organic farm growing a variety of produce, including hemp. After Ben’s wife served us fresh pork sausage from the pigs raised on their land along with a salad grown on their farm, we took a walk around the property.
While discussing best practices for organic farming, we discovered that Ben and I are fellow Naropians. After briefly discussing the next socio-cultural revolution (think “enlightened farmers”) and Kerouac and religion, we brought it all back to the soil.
Accompanying us was Brian, the leader of Ben’s hemp team. He’s the guy in the orange headgear. A veteran from Afghanistan and graduate of Rodale Institute’s Organic Farming Program, Brian brings a whole nother level of passion to Wild Fox Provisions. From seed to flower, from tinctures to hempcrete, it was interesting listening to Brian and Ethan get deep into plant science.
I recently uncovered a treasure trove of old family photos my grandmom left behind. From black and white images to color slides to old negatives, I’ve been going through them and restoring a select few. I recently acquired the equipment in my studio to develop old negatives and other mediums and getting all this practice has been helpful … and quite the trip down memory lane.
The image below is a photograph my granddad took of a canyon in Mesa Verde National Park in July 1963. This is the original scan:
Below is the restored version of the above image:
But the real story here is that upon developing this old slide, I recognized this canyon. I was there in 2018 and damn near took the exact same photo:
It’s uncanny – we were at the same spot at the same time of day, framed the picture the same and everything. He had better light, though, so I think he took the better photo.
But perhaps the real story here is that I didn’t know my granddad very well, and yet I’ve been told my whole life that he and I are remarkably similar. As I’m developing these old slides and negatives, I’m seeing things through his eyes, and I’m discovering how true that assessment is.
Here’s a before and after restored photo of my granddad in the Korean War circa 1953. He’s the soldier on the far left, with a pipe in his mouth. On the back of the photo he wrote: Me, Simpson, Thompson.
I recently found this photo along with a ton of color slides and old negatives that my grandmom left behind after she died. Several of them are from the Korean War.
I have the equipment in my home studio to develop old film negatives and other media, and I’m developing my skills in photo restoration. These photos from the Korean War are a great opportunity for me to hone those skills and eventually offer them as part of Unalome Photography’s services.